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Before the mass produced milk bottle, people carried and held their milk in cans. The first known use of factory-produced milk bottles was by the New York Dairy Company in the 1870s. The first patent for a milk container was issued in 1878 for a "milk jar;" the first patent for a milk bottle was issued in 1880. By the late 1890s, increasing concerns about the sanitation of milk led to a number of state-passed regulations requiring better, more sterile methods of delivering milk. Milk in steam-sterilized, individually sealed bottles became the standard for milk distribution. But smaller dairies often could not afford the equipment for sterilizing bottles, and so they began to ship their milk to larger, distributing, dairies. In order to keep track of their bottles, these dairies commissioned glass bottles with their logos annealed on them. This example comes from Snow's Dairy in Greenfield, Massachusetts, one of the more than 150 known milk dealers in Franklin County from the 1890s to the 1960s, and still in operation in 2002.


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Milk Bottle

date   c. 1950
height   8.5"
process/materials   glass
item type   Household Goods/Food Service Tools & Equipment
accession #   #1985.0024.007

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Milk Bottle

Milk Bottle

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